Not too long ago, some ‘mystery visitors’ called in at Barnes Park, Herrington County Park, Hetton Lyons County Park, Mowbray Park and Roker Park.

The upshot of these mysterious visits was that all of the above parks received prestigious Green Flags.

A bit similar to the Blue Flags awarded to beaches, Green Flags serve as a mark of quality for parks and open spaces.

Now – as part of Keep Britain Tidy’s People’s Choice awards – Sunderland residents have a chance to vote for their favourite park. This is an opportunity show the nation how fond of their great parks Wearside’s inhabitants are.

If you would like to vote, all you have to do is click this link, find your favourite park on the map and click the voting button.

Voting will close at the end of September and Britain’s top ten best-loved parks and green spaces will be revealed in mid-October.

Only one north-east park – Saltwell Park in Gateshead – made the top ten last year so the People’s Choice vote is a good chance to show the quality of parks we have here in the north east.

Sunderland’s city parks are overseen by Cllr Amy Wilson, who is Sunderland City Council’s cabinet member for environment and transport.

Cllr Wilson said, “As a city, we’ve had some great Green Flag results in recent years.”

“Now here’s a chance for all of us to show further appreciation and let the whole country know we love our parks.”

“Dozens of council staff and volunteers are working hard all year round to keep our parks in the best shape. Why not show your appreciation? I have.”

As well as registering your own vote, you can encourage others to vote via social media, using the hashtag #PeoplesChoice.

The Green Flag Award manager, Peter Todd, said, “This year, 1,883 parks and green spaces met the tough standards demanded by our Green Flag Award judges, but we want to know which parks the UK public love most.”

“The People’s Choice Award is a chance to show how much your favourite park means to you. If it’s worth shouting about, make your voice heard and vote now.”

The Green Flag Awards for parks, as well as the Blue Flag Awards for beaches, are run by Keep Britain Tidy. To learn more about the work of Keep Britain Tidy, please go to

(Featured image courtesy of Shantanu Dutta, from Flickr Creative Commons.)

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